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Part one of this list took us up to the end of the Fab Five era. It’s hard to believe that that era comprised a mere five years out of a 30+ year career, and there’s a ton of singles left to list.

Notorious: At first it seems like the lack of Andy and Roger doesn’t hurt the band much. Producer, Nile Rogers gives us one of the band’s best guitar riffs in service to a perfectly good song. A

Skin Trade: Too bad the post-divorce ecstasy wouldn’t last. Here the funky guitar is sparse compared to a boring synth part and Simon’s silly falsetto. Overall this is one of their worst singles. D+

Meet el Presidente: This is probably the most representative single from the Notorious album. For all the talk of making a “funk” album, the end result is actually a very plastic, faceless synth-pop album. They should have released “Proposition” instead. C

I Don’t Want Your Love: Releasing singles from Big Thing is a tough call, as none of the tracks strike me as all that radio friendly. This one is driven by an insistent bass line and capped off with a bizarre guitar solo, but it’s not bad. B-

All She Wants Is: Another weird choice for a single, but at least this one is a great song. Dark and heavy with one of JT’s best bass riffs, this is unusual for the band, but like “Notorious” the experiment worked this time. A-

Do You Believe in Shame: The first of a trilogy written for a childhood friend of Simon’s, Daniel Ellis, it’s also the weakest of the trilogy, though that’s not saying much. B

Big Thing: The title track to Big Thing was released as  promo single, and probably would have made a more traditional, if less interesting, second single than “All She Wants Is.” B+

Too Late Marlene: A schmaltzy ballad released only in Brazil, possibly because it has a very slight Latin feel. It’s no “Save a Prayer.” C-

Violence of Summer: An unfortunate choice for a first single from Liberty. “Violence of Summer” is actually not a bad song; it represents a return to the band’s old-school, sexy, pop swagger. In hindsight, though, it’s clear that they should have released “Serious” first. B

Serious: A flop upon release, this simple, guitar based ballad is rightly recognized as a classic in hindsight. The Liberty album might have been better received if it had been released first. A

Ordinary World: The gold standard for post-Fab Five Duran Duran. This second part of the Daniel Ellis trilogy is one of those songs, like “Hungry like the Wolf” where if you don’t know it, you’re not a Duran fan. A+

Come Undone: This pretty ballad, less bombastic than its predecessor but still successful in its own right, was written when Simon paired up a birthday gift for his wife with Warren Cuccurullo’s attempt at a re-arrangement of “First Impression,” the scrapped third single from Liberty (and another better choice than “Violence of Summer.”) A+

Too Much Information: A commercial disappointment after the mid-nineties mini-comeback, “Too Much Information” is a strong contrast to the two ballads; this guitar based, hard rock track is speculated to have been too much of a departure from the adult-contemporary sound of “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone” that the public rejected it outright. It’s still pretty good, though. B+

Drowning Man: Anti-American lyrics paired with an irritating dance track. What were they thinking. F

None of the Above: The lyrics seem to be an Agnostic’s anthem. Musically it’s not bad, and they avoid outright insulting believers, which is a nice departure from the majority of irreligious art. B

Breath after Breath: A beautiful collaboration with Brazilian singer, Milton Nascimento. Unsurprisingly the song has a Brazilian feel, alternating Simon’s English lyrics with Milton’s Portuguese falsetto. The result is very beautiful, if out of place. B

Femme Fatale: A Velvet Underground cover, the Duran Duran version is an under appreciated guitar showcase; Warren doesn’t get a solo, but there are multiple layers and textures to enjoy. Simon can also sing the preverbial circles around Nico. A

Perfect Day: Following a Velvet Underground cover with a Lou Reed cover takes balls, but Reed himself stated that this was the best cover of one of his songs he’d ever heard. It certainly is a hidden gem on what is generally considered a train wreck of an all covers album, Thank You. A-

White Lines: In this cover of the old-school rap classic, originally by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Duran Duran turns the hip-hop funk backing into a capable heavy rock track accompanied by, strangely enough, the original artists, including original lead vocalist Mele Mel. The end result is not nearly as ridiculous as it sounds, even if Simon’s attempt at rapping is hilariously bad. A

Lay Lady Lay: I think it’s a rule that every pop-rock band who does an all covers album is required to include at least one Dylan song. Duran was smart in choosing a relatively obscure song, and they acquit themselves well, providing a nice companion to “Perfect Day.” B+

Out of My Mind: The third song in the Daniel Ellis trilogy is an under appreciated companion to “Do You Believe in Shame” and “Ordinary World.” Another spacy ballad, “Out of My Mind” is more dance-able than the first two, and one of the hidden gems on an otherwise bland album. A+

Electric Barbarella: Apparently the band is really proud of this song, but I’m not entirely sure why. It’s not that it’s bad, (although the lyrics, about a Realdoll, are pretty stupid) it’s more that it’s kind of boring and unremarkable. “Big Bang Generation” would have been a much better single. C

Someone Else Not Me: By the late nineties, Duran Duran were putting out rather poor albums; John had left the band, Simon was facing a severe, multi-year bout of writer’s block, and Nick and Warren were simply not up to the task of replacing him as lyricists. That said, the albums still had some hidden gems, and this lush ballad was the perfect example for 2000’s Pop Trash. A+

Playing with Uranium: To illustrate “Someone Else Not Me”‘s status as a hidden gem, we get this awful sounding rock track, featuring a discordant lead guitar line, bland power chords, an uninspired vocal melody, and harsher in hindsight lyrics involving uranium and stuff “blow[ing] up in my face.” D+

Last Day on Earth: Supposedly submitted for a James Bond theme, “Last Day on Earth” is actually better than “A View to a Kill.” Pop Trash’s final song works quite well as Warren’s final statement. A-

Sunrise: A mediocre album track, outshined by its own remix, at least its hopeful message makes sense in terms of the then recent Fab Five reunion. B-

What Happens Tomorrow: Andy Taylor’s “classic rock” moment on an underwhelming album. This is probably the best song, although Simon needs to be slapped for introducing a song written about 9/11 as being about the War in Iraq. A- anyway.

Nice: Awful, awful, awful. Annoyingly upbeat, trite lyrics, Astronaut was a disappointment, and “Nice” is especially bad. D-

Falling Down: Another in a long line of hidden gems, “Falling Down” is a high point of guitar based balladry on an otherwise bizarre attempt at a “modern” album. Hired gun guitarist, Dom Brown impresses here with a nice outro solo. A

All You Need is Now: Here we have the opposite of the hidden gems we’ve become used to: a disappointing song on an otherwise spectacular album! Producer, Mark Ronson said he wanted to make the long lost sequel to Rio, and All You Need is Now succeeds in that respect, even if its title track is a bit of a mess. B-

Girl Panic: This should have been the first single! Ronson basically asked the band if they could write a sequel to “Girls on Film” and damned if they didn’t pull it off. A+


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